Latest Entries »

Year 100 day 100

I seems very fast to me, but even the grandchildren of those I first knew as babies are gone. Some things are unchanged: the People still follow the game, there are good seasons and bad, and every year there are new children and new deaths.

The “sharing of power” has become an important part of the ritual of recognizing a new shaman. Not in public, thank goodness!

In fact, it is taken for granted now that I will sleep with the woman (generally single) who stays to prepare my food and clothing, and such women are eagerly sought by the men of the group when their term of serving me is over.

I miss my own people, but while I know how to build a starship, I do not have the tools or materials.

Quotes from Jane Austen

Mansfield Park CoverAll but the last are the contexts of quotes posted from Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, in honor of the 200th birthday of that book.

“I am worn out with civility.” Henry Crawford to Fanny, near the end of her first ball.

“I have been talking incessantly all night, and with nothing to say.” Henry Crawford to Fanny.

“Let us have the luxury of silence.” Still Henry Crawford.

“They are all going away, I think. I wish they would stay at home. Lady Bertram, after Sir Thomas gives Julia permission to stay longer with her sister.

“It is every body’s duty to do as well for themselves as they can.” Mary Crawford’s philosophy.

“Ask her to love you, and she will never have the heart to refuse.” Edmond’s advice to Henry Crawford.

“For Zhaim, having power and not using it was a form of weakness. And the weak neither survived nor deserved to.” Homecoming, by Sue Ann Bowling. Zhaim is rationalizing, as usual. He’s the villain of Homecoming, but he himself sees his actions as acceptable, even noble. (Not a spoiler, as the first scene shows him as a torturer through the eyes of one of his victims. He thinks he’s a misunderstood artist in human flesh.)

The sun will rise this morning at 9:10 am, and set 6 hours 49 minutes later at 3:59 this evening. Day length this time of year is decreasing at 6 minutes 38 minutes a day, but the decrease is slowing down: 6 minutes 30 seconds by the end of the week.

Weather? The blizzard that seems to be making the news in the lower 48 is a bust. The next week’s forecast is for cloudy, no precipitation, and daily highs pushing or above freezing. Hope it isn’t too slick.

logo WWW Vet

It’s Sunday again, time for Weekend Writing Warriors (click the logo above) and Snippet Sumday (click the logo below.) This is again a quote from Rescue Operation, following on from last week.


M83What neither Roi nor the Council had realized was that a group of parasitized Humans were ready to move in on Rakal the instant the R’il’noids were no longer guarding the system. The infection would be self-limiting—the parasite could not reproduce in Humans, and the infection could only be maintained by bringing in captive Maungs. With both Maungs and R’il’noids on patrol, that would not happen often—but the original population of the planet was now being treated as a food supply and hostages by the parasitized Humans, who considered themselves to be a different and superior species.

The Confederation rescued those they could, but the entire Inner Council had agreed that Rakal would be a unique episode. No further planets could leave the Confederation—but that decision had set up the potential disaster on Horizon.

“We have two distinct problems,” Kaia said, “and we’d better treat it that way. Horizon’s an emergency, and I agree with Roi on that. But I’m not sure what we can do beyond trying to get a reconsideration. All Zhaim’s supporters are on planet, so that means we need seventeen votes.”

And Zhaim has already thought of that.

Snippet Sunday logo

My apologies for being late this morning; yesterday I was busy making some of the arrangements necessary to fly to Anchorage with a portable oxygen concentrator for a doctor’s appointment. More phone calls today on the details, but I have the basics at this point.

Year 58 Day 102

Five years ago, WildDog’s plea to transfer some of my power to him via his mate was a shock to me as well as to the rest of the group. True, a number of the other male shamans made the sams request later, but I think the main motivation was not letting WildDog get ahead of them. A year after that, them woman who were leaders in their own right decided that they, too, wanted whatever power I could give them.

Today there are only a few holdouts. I even find myself looking forward to this new duty.

SFR logoThis is a continuation of last month’s excerpt from Both Sides Now. Kevi (Roi, the regent of the confederation) has just pointed out to Mik that his dog, Loco, is in labor.

Click on the logo above or here to find other Science Fiction Romance Brigade authors

Stunned, Mik looked down at Loco. She was panting, turning now and then to look at her sides and digging again at the bottom of the pannier. “She can’t be—I skipped her this season. That’s why I didn’t bring her with me when I—well, you know. Wasn’t sure she was out yet.” He swung down to help Kevi with Jad.

“You may have skipped her. Judging by the date, I’d say she was bred before you knew she was in. Come on, uh, what’s his name, Mikal?”


“All right, Jadel, just sit down right there. Feeling any better? Good. Suppress works fast. Mikal, can you give me a hand? Just keep pressure here and here, while I manipulate his arm.”

Mik swallowed bile, and jumped more than Jad did when the shoulder snapped back into place under his hands. He was more confused than ever in trying to see this man as the hated regent, but Kevi did seem to know what he was doing. “What was that you gave him?” he persisted.

“Mixture of four drugs. First was a painkiller, suppress. It acts very fast. The counterShock is a little slower, but not much. The other two are a muscle relaxant and a mild sedative. Those haven’t quite kicked in yet—don’t worry when you start feeling sleepy, Jad. That’ll keep you from doing further damage by trying to use that shoulder. For right now I want you to lie down in one of the back rooms in that maze of hay so I can use cold packs to keep the swelling from getting worse, and I’ll strap the arm in place when you wake up.”

He made up a couple of ice packs and applied them to Jadel’s shoulder, settling the man in one of the rooms hidden in the hay. Then he went into another room and returned to the front of the cave, carrying an empty box that Mik recognized as one that had held the Confederation supplies he’d traded for. “The dog’s doing fine,” Kevi said as he put an old feed sack in the box, “but I think she could use a little more room. Want to bring her in, Mikal? I’ll have a look at that horse you were leading.”

Whatever else he was, Mik decided, Kevi was an expert at keeping people off balance. Loco was still in the pannier, whimpering, and as Mik lifted her out he felt a very definite kick low on her left side. She licked his chin apologetically, and he sighed. He had thought he had protected her adequately, though now that he thought about it, Blue had seemed awfully interested in her for a couple of days before he had realized she was coming in season. A repeat of the litter Stormy had come from, then. Good bloodlines; he’d just planned to give her a little more time to recover between litters. Must be a small litter, or he’d have noticed something. He just hoped the pups were full term.

Kevi was still going over Star, frowning in concentration, when Mik heard a horse trotting toward the cave. Doc’s bay leopard, he identified the animal when he moved to the door. It didn’t sound like Joker, though—this horse was trotting fluidly, and Doc didn’t look nearly as jarred as he usually did. Mik waved, and got an answering wave from Doc. “How do you like my new assistant?” the vet called as he pulled up by the cave.

“Knows how to reduce a dislocation, anyway,” Mik replied, with a somewhat uneasy glance at Kevi.

The R’il’noid straightened and grinned. “With help,” he said. “How old is this horse, anyway? He’s not too badly hurt—bruises and a couple of pulled muscles—but I can’t do much for old age. Oh, the stuff I’ve got Joker on will help, but it’s pure luck this fellow didn’t break a few bones.”

“Star?” Mik said, trying to think back. He couldn’t remember Jadel on a horse other than Star. “High twenties at least. Maybe thirties.” He felt guilty again. But what else could he have done?

“Does he like the colts?”

Mik looked at this unpredictable R’il’noid in bewilderment. “We can’t turn him out with the mares and foals. He’ll kidnap the foals.”

“If he were mine,” Kevi said, “I’d retire him to baby-sitter and role model for the weanlings. Nothing wrong with his manners, and they’ll learn by watching him.”

And Jadel was far better as a camp organizer and keeper of pedigrees than as a rider, these days. Put Jad in charge of the encampment for those herding the weanlings, come fall. A few people would stay behind this summer to oversee the haying and pick a winter campsite, and Jad was a logical choice. Let him and his beloved Star rest and recover until fall. “You,” he said wryly, still not sure whether Kevi was playing some elaborate game, “are a total surprise.”

“If the stories I heard going around when I was here a few years back are what you’ve heard about me, I imagine I am. I’m being myself, Mikal. More than I’ve had a chance to be for years. Let me strap Jad’s shoulder, and the three of us can talk.”

Storm Over Warlock coverContexts of quotes from Andre Norton:

“A man who still lives and is not yet broken can hope.” Storm over Warlock. Shann’s thoughts after his capture by the Throgs.

“No one ever quite believes that a last evil will strike at him.” Storm over Warlock. Shann Lantee’s thought, facing what seems to be the final moment before his death by torture.

“He was too old a hand at bargaining to show any emotion unless for a purpose.” Ordeal in Otherwhere. Charis’s thoughts on the probably illegal Free Trader who wants to buy a contract she is being forced to sign.

“Think things out, assemble your information before you act.” Ordeal in Otherwhere. What Charis was taught by her father.

Ordeal cover“There was no use speculating about what force was in power here.” Ordeal in Otherwhere. Charis’s thought after finding herself under the control of the Wyverns.

“There were times when one human life was expendable for the whole.” Ordeal in Otherwhere. Charis, finding herself unable to abandon Shann Lantee.

“Guilt’s for something you could have done something about.” Bowling, Tourist Trap. .Jacyn, trying to tell Tod he need feel no guilt about his mother dying at his birth, no matter what his father says.

North Pole Weather 11/3/14

The sun will rise this morning at 8:46 (standard time) and set 7 hours and 36 minutes later at 4:22 this afternoon. We had a fair amount of snow last week in the sense I could see it snowing outside the window, but the accumulation is still very minor.

Next week? Partly cloudy, with temperatures back and forth around 0°F.

I’m about the same, oxygen requirements decreasing very slowly, edema in my legs and feet almost gone. Still very little appetite. I hope I get to feeling better soon.

logo WWW Vet

It’s Sunday again, and time for Weekend Writing Warriors (click the logo above for rules and other participants) and the logo below for snippet Sunday. Today’s 8 sentences are a continuation of last week’s from Rescue Operation.


NGC 2174But there was one species, the Maungs, that was dangerous to Humans.

They were not aggressive. In fact, the R’il’nai had a long history of peaceful trade relations with the Maungs. But the adult Maungs were a symbiotic relationship between a mammal-like but mindless body and a nervous system that started life as something resembling an insect. That nervous system could not infect the now-extinct pure R’il’nai, or their R’il’noid descendants. But the nervous system could infect Humans during its free-living stage, and became a genuine and frightening parasite in Humans. Most R’il’noids could immediately detect an infected Human, and within a year or two of infection, the parasite could be removed. If it was not, it gradually took over and eliminated the Human mind.

Scary friends, right?

Year 54 Day 33

I begin to suspect a conspiracy on the part of the women shamans. Four groups led by women had arrived by yesterday, and all of the leaders agreed on the idea of a direct transfer of power. Today the first male-led group arrived, and the shaman, whose wife I slept with last year, was clearly not pleased to find himself placed behind the women.

I explained the new rules: no more than one a night, first priority to those to whom I had not yet transferred power, equality between male and female shamans. The men were not pleased, but with four women already having slept with me and the new rules established, there wasn’t much they could do.